RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index slipped on Thursday and lost 71.85 points – 0.71 percent – to close at 9,976.65, driven by sharply lower oil prices amid fragile market sentiment over fears of a deepening crisis for banks worldwide.
While MSCI Tadawul 30 Index dropped 0.68 percent to 1,347.20, the parallel market Nomu rose 0.91 percent to 19,011.72.
The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR7.6 billion ($2.02 billion).
Astra Industrial Group was the topmost performer of the day as its share price shot up 6.12 percent to SR59.00, as the company reported a net profit of SR474.3 million, up 134 percent compared to 2021.
As the profit surged, Astra Industrial Group’s board of directors also recommended the distribution of a cash dividend at SR 2.5 per share, or 25 percent of capital, for 2022.
Saudi Public Transport Co. was Thursday’s next best performer as its share price surged 6 percent to SR17.68.
Other top performers of the day were Thimar Development Holding Co. and Aldawaa Medical Services Co..
The worst performer of the day was Herfy Food Services Co., with its shares falling 6.71 percent to SR32.
The fall in Herfy’s share prices was driven by its financial performance, as on Thursday the firm announced its net profit for 2022 down 97.66 percent compared to 2021, coming in at SR3.54 million.
In a Tadawul statement, Herfy noted that the decrease in profit was due to a combination of a fall in sales, an increase in the percentage of the cost of sales, a rise in selling and marketing expenses, and an increase in the general and administrative expenses.
Amid a decrease in net profit, Herfy’s board of directors recommended a 5 percent cash dividend, at SR 0.50 per share, for 2022.
On the announcements front, Saudi Cement Co., in a bourse filing revealed that its net profit for 2022 jumped 20.16 percent to SR398.8 million.
Saudi Cement Co. attributed this rise in profit to the increase in sales revenue due to the increase in average selling prices in spite of the decrease in quantity sold, in addition to the decrease in selling and distribution expenses.
Meanwhile, Advanced Petrochemical Co.’s board of directors recommended the repurchase of up to 650,700 shares to allocate to the employee stock incentive program.
According to a statement given to Tadawul, the company revealed that the transaction will be financed from advanced internal resources, while the repurchased shares will not be entitled to vote in general meetings.
Advanced Petrochemicals Co. further noted that the shares allocated to employees will not be entitled to any dividends during the period the company holds them.
AlSaif Stores for Development and Investment Co. also announced its financial results for 2022 on Thursday. The firm reported a net profit of SR129 million, down 29.81 percent compared to 2021.
In a Tadawul statement, the company attributed the decrease in net profit to sales fall, an increase in the cost of sales resulting from the increase in the costs of the purchased goods, and an increase in freight costs.